What Small Businesses Can Do With Social Media

I have met many start-ups and small business owners, and most of them seem to have one thing in common—they are all looking for cheap ways to advertise their products/services or to reach currents and potential customers. I understand their struggle because if I am just starting up my business and I invest all the money I have to get started, it’s obvious I have no money or little for advertisement or marketing. If you are in this situation, well, look no more. Turn to social media because it is mostly free or cheap and you will reach many people at once.

downloadSo what kind of social media can you use? what can it do for you?

First of all, there many social media sites and apps you could use. For example, if you are trying to do a commercial and have no or little money to do so, just do your short promotional video and post it on Youtube and if you are lucky, people will see your video; therefore will see that you exist or at least know what’s you’re about. But careful, though. You want to make your video as attractive (funny or interesting) as possible so it has chances to go viral. You need to make sure that the video contains all important information about your company—who you are, what services/products do you sell, your contact information, where to find you.

Another tool that can be useful is Facebook. Now with Facebook you can geo-tag your location and post an ad that will be seen by a specific niche that you choose. It is way cheaper than using conventional methods and it allows you to reach as many people as possible, plus you can decide to promote your post for a small fee. Besides that, you can still use Instagram, Twitter, foursquare etc.

There are many things that you can do with your social media. You can set up a new blog, fan page, video site, and Twitter account without paying a dime. There’s no expensive software, and you don’t have to spend money on traditional methods if this works for you. However, even though there’s a low price tag to enter the game, social media is far from free. It requires time, energy, and effort. It’s a never-ending commitment to create interesting content, listen to conversations, and respond.

Although social media seems attractive because of its low cost, it is very important that you make smart decisions about which one to use and which one is suitable for your type of business, which one gives you more visibility etc.

The only setback is that you have to be careful because if social media can help your business have more visibility and interact with customers to better serve them, it is also a dangerous tool if it is not handled correctly.

There are many things social media help you do and this article cannot cite all those things. If you are interested in learning, buy Propel: 5 ways to am up your business, a book written by my professor Whitney Keyes. It has all the information you need to know about how social media can help you achieve your business goals if you use it accordingly


Companies, You Must Leverage Your Instagram Presence

Instagram is the next big thing in the social media world. Following the steps of  Facebook, Instagram has become the app that all the cool kids are using. Some people would say that Facebook is the hottest social media used today, I wouldn’t argue completely against that assertion; however, I would say that Instagram is the next big thing and it is right here (to quote Samsung). Now that everybody is on Facebook, even the parents and grandparents, most kids are using something else that is still considered COOL because their parents aren’t using it.  And that other thing is Instagram.

imagesWell, if a company wants to reach that particular demographic, look no more, Instagram is the real deal now. According to EverythingPR54% of Top Brands Include Instagram in their Social Strategy in 2012 and this numbers will continue to increase significantly as Instagram is becoming more and more popular among brands and the number or users has grown very fast since last year.

Nike for example has leveraged its presence on the social media using by scoring more than a million followers on its Instagram page. This number is very powerful as these people choose to follow Nike and it means that they either are Nike customers/consumers or they like the company to the point of following it on Instagram. On its page, Nike posts pictures of products and the followers do the rest — they like the picture or they comment on it. That’s visibility.

Not only does Instagram allow you to reach that specific niche of “cool kids” , but the fact that those pictures can be directly shared through other social media channels like Facebook or Twitter makes it even more appealing because by doing so, you will also reach those people who aren’t on Instagram, but who are using other social media sites.

This cool social media platform works well for small businesses as well as fortune 500 companies. It’s all depends on how well the company is using it. For those companies selling lines of products or introducing new lines of products, Instagram is the place to showcase the pictures of the products and create a buzz around them. In conclusion, if you use your Instagram smartly and link it to your other social media accounts, you have more chances to make the best out of your social media presence and reach more customers everyday and keep in touch with news trends in the business and what consumers want to see you doing.